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Showing posts from July, 2019

New application for a further 121 homes to be built east of Bedford Road

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Bidwell arable site up for development.


A new Full Planning Application for residential development at land to the east of Bedford Road known as The Gates has been submitted. The applicants are Jarvis Homes Ltd.

If acceptable, 121 dwellings in addition to the Bidwell West (1,850 homes) and Linmere (5,150 homes) will be constructed on the 4.2 hectares site. The site is adjacent to the Dunstablians Rugby Union Club site. 30%, or 36 homes, would fall into the 'affordable' category made up of 73% affordable rent and 27% shared ownership with at least 1 x 4 bedroom rental property.



The arable site has an existing detached residential property, Bedford House, and sundry outbuildings including dilapidated timber barns, steel frame stores and masonry block /brick barns.

It is proposed that additional bus stops on both sides of Bedford Road are provided. In addition, a foul water pumping station and an electrical sub-station would be constructed.

An online consultation was carried out …

Dodgy car trader fined almost £20,000 for misleading customers

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A Hockliffe car dealer has been fined again after Central Bedfordshire Council’s Trading Standards Officers continued to receive of complaints about his trading practices, despite him being prosecuted in 2017.

Syed Shahryar Kamal, of Hilton Car Supermarket on the A5 in Hockliffe, pleaded guilty to three breaches of consumer protection law at Luton Magistrates Court on 22 July.

The court heard that Trading Standards Officers received several complaints from Hilton Car Supermarket customers between September 2017 and March 2018. All of the customers had problems with their vehicles shortly after driving them away from the premises, and experienced difficulty in exercising their consumer rights.

One of the customers bought a BMW with an advertised mileage of 95,000, only to find a few months later that it had in fact travelled in the region of 250,000 miles. The customer had problems with the car from day one, but was denied any redress by the garage. Hilton Car Supermarket had also fals…

Bellcross Homes plan for 350 new homes east of Houghton Park Road

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An Outline Application has been submitted for the provision of up to 350 residential dwellings and associated works on land east of Houghton Park Road, Parkside, Houghton Regis. The 14.72 hectares site is bounded by Parkside on the west and extends part-way towards the A5505 (Woodside Link Road) in the east and south, and the Kingsland site in the north.


If approved, the new homes will be in addition to the 5,150 new homes already given outline approval on the Linmere (formerly called HRN1) developments.




The application from Bellcross Homes indicates that one of the main entrances to the site would controversially be via Conquest Road. Objections were made at the time of the scoping opinion suggesting that access via Conquest Road and Houghton Park Road would not be safe owing to the volume of cars currently parking in those roads. Two other access roads are indicated to lead east towards the Linmere (HRN1) site.



One option being considered is that parking restrictions may have to be …

Lidl Working on Plans for 125,000 SqM of Warehousing

Central Beds Council to Develop a Climate Change Plan

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Central Bedfordshire Council has agreed to prioritise responding to climate change. A proposal to develop a plan was discussed at its Council meeting yesterday (18 July), and received unanimous support.

Suggesting this proposal, Councillor Dixon, Executive Member for Transformation and External Relations at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Following elections, we have reflected on some of our priorities and in particular, we have created a transformation portfolio which includes responding to climate change.

“We recognise that we can and want to do a lot more to reduce our carbon footprint, and we want to encourage others to do so too. We will produce a deliverable plan, ready for roll out during 2020. In that plan, we aim to lead by example in our everyday practices, encouraging and supporting our residents and businesses to do likewise. We’ll also be looking to invest in programmes that support a carbon-neutral Central Bedfordshire for 2030 and beyond.”

Amongst the projects t…

Green Flag to Fly Over Houghton Hall Park

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Houghton Hall Park is one of six open spaces in the Central Bedfordshire area to have been recognised as some of the best community-run green spaces in the country in the UK’s National Green Flag Awards 2019.

A full Green Flag Award has been awarded for Houghton Hall Park, a first for Central Bedfordshire Council. The park’s visitor building has previously been the recipient of various design awards, and boasts bookable meeting spaces, a dog-friendly café with both indoor and outdoor seating, children’s discovery area, and interactive interpretation about the park and other local heritage. The park and visitor centre, which are free to visit, are part of the wider National Lottery-funded £3m Houghton Hall Park Renaissance and Renewal Project, which provides easy-access paths and innovative natural play equipment, making the historic Houghton Hall Park a great destination for all of the family.



The Green Flag Awards recognise well managed high-quality green spaces. Any green space is e…

New Application to Build 20 Business Units near Arenson Way

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A new application has been submitted to Central Beds Council to build 20 new business units branching off a roundabout in Houghton Regis that connects Porz Avenue, Boscombe Road and Arenson Way. At one time the land was speculatively reserved from development as it was thought it could be used as part of a bypass for Dunstable Town Centre. Pylons and a footpath currently run through the strip of undeveloped land.


A Right of Way, FP50, officially connects the roundabout to Dog Kennel Down County Wildlife Site and Orchard Close through the strip of land. Recently, this right of way was overgrown, but under the plans, this would be upgraded.

If the 1.27 hectare site is developed per the application The Arenson centre would be on one side of the strip and Foster Avenue on the other.  The small B2 industrial units would be served by a new vehicular and pedestrian access. Existing overhead cables would be buried, and existing underground cables would need to be protected. An option to link…

Aldwyck and Catalyst new venture wins national innovation competition

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The newly merged Aldwyck Housing Group and Catalyst Housing got together recently to participate on a National Housing Hackathon competition. The purpose of the competition was to create a piece of technology that could contribute towards solving the problems that housing associations and their communities and customers face.

Aldwyck Housing Group and London based Catalyst set out to combat loneliness and generate cohesion within their communities by cleverly using technology. The team designed a digital interface called “kiM!” which included a 3D graphical representation of the community and all the activities and events within it. Users are encouraged through gamification to take part in local activities and contribute to community life to earn “kiM! points” which can be redeemed at local business such as gyms and hairdressers.


The ‘National Housing Hackathon’ competition, designed by Cloud and Digital services provider ANS and jointly hosted by Microsoft, took place in Birmingham a…

Mental Health Hub Launched by PCC

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PCC Kathryn Holloway has launched the Mental Health Hub (MHH) — an exciting new venture, jointly funded by the Commissioner and East London Foundation Trust (ELFT), which brings together mental health professionals and police colleagues in response to those experiencing a mental health crisis.

The Mental Health Hub has three core aspects:

- A mental health nurse within Bedfordshire's Force Contact Centre (the control room) to deal directly with callers who are in crisis and provide support plus tactical advice to police officers, as well as coaching and guidance for all call handlers in the management of mental health related callers.

- A mental health nurse within the Signpost Victim Support Hub, to also deal directly with callers with mental health issues and offer support and guidance to colleagues dealing with those affected by crime who are in crisis.

- Serenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM) providing nominated officers and mental health workers for the most frequent users of e…

Bedfordshire Women’s Community Safety Awards

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The Police & Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway presented awards at the Bedfordshire Women’s Community Safety Awards ceremony on 2 July.

The awards were created and funded by her office and delivered in partnership with the Bedfordshire Women’s Network to commemorate and create opportunities for women in the county who promote community safety and victim support and celebrate them through the hosting of an event with the network which helps advise the OPCC, Policing and public services.

“This event ran for the first time last year and I’d arranged it to not only pay tribute to all those incredible women working in our county but to mark the centenary of votes for women. In fact, we received over 7,000 pages of nominations which was a wake-up call to me that no such regular event to recognise their work existed. The OPCC now intends to make this an annual event,” said PCC Holloway.

Eight awards were handed out, voted for by the officers and staff of Bedfordshire Police.

Voluntee…

Children can learn how to write songs and create their own music

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Due to popular demand another Songwriting and Composition Course is being run for young people from 22nd – 25th July (10am-3pm each day) by Inspiring Music.

Your child can learn to compose music in the style of their choice with the three well renowned course tutors Jon Kendall, Joel Blunden and Daniel Johnson at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable.

Sign up for the course.

During the 4 days your child will:


learn how to create original musicplay a range of instruments such as guitars (acoustic, electric and bass), drums, keyboard and voiceexplore song themes and lyric writingrecord and produce their own musicperform in front of friends and family
Cost: £120 (£30 per day) and, for families on a lower income, there is financial assistance available through the Friends of Bedfordshire Youth Music, which could help towards the cost of the course.

Top picture: Students on the first songwriting course, which took place to great success over the Easter holidays


Hear the songs that have already been…

Houghton Regis Library Praised for Inspiring Schoolgirl's Success

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Local schoolgirl, Nyah Atkinson of Thornhill Primary School in Houghton Regis in Central Bedfordshire, has made it through to the recent semi-final of BBC Radio 2’s prestigious ‘500-words’ story writing competition for children.

‘500 Words’ is the UK’s most successful short story-writing competition for children between the ages of 5 and 13. Over 110,000 stories are believed to have entered this year, and over 20,000 schools participated. Nyah’s story, called ‘Star and Moon and the Legend of Fun Island’, was one of only 5,000 to make it to the semi-final.

Whilst Nyah as an 8-year-old perhaps can’t fathom the enormity of this achievement, her mother felt compelled to write a letter to the school and local library services to thank them for the part they had to play.

Nyah’s mum, Cassandra Philip, said: “Nyah is not the best nor the weakest reader in her class: She is just a regular child, but my daughter loves to read.

“Whilst fostering a love of reading often starts at home, she would …

Parkside Playgrounds Refurbishment Update

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Central Bedfordshire Council has been asked for an update to two of their closed playgrounds in Parkside.
1. The playground between Elm Park Close/ Enfield Close / Brentwood Close.
2. The playground between Chelsea Gardens and Bromley Gardens.

The response came on 4 July 2019 in an FOI reply to HRND editor, Alan Winter.


"Both Elm Park Close and Chelsea Gardens were closed to the public on the 15th February 2019 due to safety issues. Both of the play areas have been inspected and repairs conducted when required; unfortunately, it has got to the stage where the cost of repairs due to the age of both the equipment and surfacing and equipment/surfacing not meeting British Standards is not viable and therefore refurbishment of the play areas are required."

"Funding has been secured for the refurbishment of both Elm Park Close and Chelsea Gardens play areas. "

"Elm Park Close and Chelsea Gardens refurbishment Schedule:

Invitation to quotation issued 5th July 2019 Dea…